I’M NOT LOOKING FOR SOMETHING HOLY
I’m not looking for something holy in my indifference
that could pass for an absent angel.
And I don’t imagine a heaven that’s waiting for me
because of anything I’ve done or didn’t do.
I don’t draw inferences out of the shadows
of the white hyacinth’s
mantled tower of blossoming nuns
and I’m as tolerant as the new bees
trying to break in the pulse of the sun
flower by flower
like an unknown power
that seeks them out like gold-dust in a river
that flows from a secret watershed
obsessed with fountains.
I’m fireflies in the valley.
I’m stars in the mountains.
And whether I’m at peace with my existence or not
or I’m just the eye of a passing storm the sky forgot
like a last look over the shoulders of the hills
with selective memories
my brain cells are jammed
like cradles of warm milk and honey
that know nothing of paradise in the womb
or the original home we kill each other over
like poppies on an ancestral tomb
that makes death holier than life.
I sit here like a bench
that hasn’t been upended
in the temples of the money-changers
who fear that every stranger they meet
is another mad messiah
about to knock them off their feet
for selling doves like sacrificial meat
to a god that doesn’t eat.
And I watch the hearses being washed
in the parking lot across the way
like the funeral horses of yesterday
being plumed like waves
to draw another deathcart
like a labour of love to our graves.
And it occurs to me
that the great sea of awareness
may well be an orchard with angels for sails
perched like birds on the powerlines
of our musical event horizons
worn out like old thresholds of the tide
with our comings and goings
and the arcane originality of thought
is already a dead species among the Burgess Shales
that evolution quotes from profusely
like a double-feature of what’s to come
but even this oceanic vision of life
the angels haven’t learned to sail well yet
is still just one blossom among many others
that lay their swords down on the water like the moon
surrendering for everyone.
I watch the worlds within worlds within me
pass through spaces
where they’re as true everywhere
as birds are here.
And I’m alive in everyone of them somehow
as if they were all aspects of a single mind
that lives me as it lives the flower and the rock
as it lives everyone and everything
like a star that only appears where it isn’t.
Life is like that.
Knowledge is like that.
The whole of sentient existence is like that
from the carbon-hearted sun down
to the silicon-brained grain of sand
that wears the moon like a pearl through its tongue.
Created in the image of ineffable life
means there’s nothing within or without
whether you’re full of doubt
trying to break yourself open like a koan
or dreaming you’re awake
that isn’t you’re own simulacrum.
But it’s not like a mirror
reflecting the likeness of everything
that comes before it like a dumb show
or a shadowy pantomime.
The mirror looks through your eyes creatively
and divines a simile for itself
in everything it sees
as if existence were mysteriously human
in the way it imagines a world that isn’t.